Kensuke's Kingdom

CAROLINE CULOT Norwich Theatre Royal

CAROLINE CULOT

Norwich Theatre Royal

When theatre really works, you are transported from your seat in the dark to a magical place far away and that is exactly what happened last night for the audience watching this wonderfully evocative tale adapted from a Michael Morpurgo children's novel.

In just one and a half hours we had been shipwrecked and washed up on an island under the burning sun and with the sound of the surf crashing.

The Birmingham Stage Comp-any's production of Kensuke's Kingdom was a real treat; it remained loyal to the book and used imaginative set design, lighting and sound to take the audience on its special journey.

It tells the story of a boy separ-ated from his parents who befriends an aged, former Japanese soldier who has turned his back on life.

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Iain Ridley as Michael did a sterling job with so much dialogue and being on stage the entire

time and Julia Hickman and

Mark Carleton played a pair of orang-utans very convincingly.

But there was something so poignant about Ozzie Yue's performance as Kensuke which really gave this production real heart. The end was very touching and played beautifully by him and Ridley.

This company has brought us such delights as the Horrible Histories, last year's ambitious, but brilliant, Jungle Book and just seem to go from strength to strength.

This is a show not to be missed.

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